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Wiki Main Page > Mohawk Valley Library System  > Expanding Connections: Online Outreach


Mohawk Valley Library System :: Expanding Connections Workshop


Thursday, February 10, 2010 - 9:30 am - 12:30 pm at MVLS


Our workshop today will provide you with time to focus on whatever tools you want to explore for helping make your library's staff and resources more available to your community through online services.  Listed below, you'll find tips on using some of the more popular and widely tools.



HELP! So many options, so little time? Where to start? How to keep up?

  • Ask your library patrons what tools they're using.
  • Pick one or two and take it for a real test drive.
  • Try out all the features - see what works.
  • Let your community know you're using it.
  • Don't give up! It may take a while to prove useful. 
  • Promote it in the library, newsletters, handouts, signs, etc. 
  • Update often, with useful information.
  • Communicate with your community.
  • Ask questions of your followers/friends.
  • Run contests, make special offers, have fun. 
  • Respond to their questions.
  • Don’t just feed out endless bits of news, connect with your community as well.
  • Check your accounts regularly or have the info pushed to your email so you know when someone is connecting with you
  • Search for mentions of your community and respond.
  • Use services that let you update multiple services at once and also on the go.




  • Sign up at
  • Twitter - it's really more than just what you ate for lunch. :-)
  • Who's using twitter?
  • Tips
    • Share your upcoming events.
    • Build a group of followers and follow them back.
    • Engage in conversation.
    • Offer tips and information they might need.
    • Search for mentions of your town and region.
    • Send your blog rss feed to twitter to autopost your news events. Hootsuite will do this for you.
    • Use a Twitter widget to put your twitter stream on the sidebar of your web site.




  • Create your personal account:
  • Create your Library Page 
  • Answers to your questions about Facebook & your personal account.
    • Create a page for your library. Initially it will be tied to your own personal facebook page. You are the administrator of the account.
    • You can add othere admins, and you can delete yourself too. Edit --> Manage Admins
    • Your library's fans do not have access to your own personal page, unless you're also friends with them through your personal page.
    • Similarly, you don't have access to the personal pages of your library's fans.
  • What to do with your Library Page
    • If you have a blog with news updates, feed that directly to your NOTES tab. Go to the Notes tab --> look for Edit Import Settings on left --> add your rss feed.
    • Make use of the “UPDATES” feature to push info out to your library’s fans. Edit --> Marketing --> Send an Update
    • Open up the page so your library's fans can post notes.
    • Respond to notes, post photos.
    • Tag people in your notes to get their attention, when relevant
    • Run a book discussion via the NOTES section of your site. Start a new note and let others comment. Promote the event ahead of time on Facebook, twitter and your library web site. Cuyahoga Night Owls is a great example. Or this could just be an ongoing book discussion in conjunction with your in-house events.
    • Upload photos and create albums.
    • Could also have photos auto post from flickr.
  • Promoting and tracking:
    • Use the Insights section to see what’s going on
    • SOCIAL addons :
      • Add LIKE buttons to your blog posts
      • Add Facebook fan box to your web page/blog
    • What are impressions: Simply the # of times an item appeared in anyone’s news feed. Doesn’t mean they looked at it or acted on it. But if you have way more impressions than you have actual fans, it may be that the item has been shared a lot of times.


Mobile Sites

  • Why bother - no one in my town uses a smartphone?
    • Yes, they do!  :-)
    • According to this 2010 Pew research study 31% of all US adults access the Internet on their cellphones (82% of adults own cell phones, 38% of them access the internet) That number goes up to nearly 60% for young adults aged 18-29.
    • And that is just going to grow with more tablets and smartphones.
    • A mobile site can provide users with easy access to your library hours, catalog search, phone & text reference, databases and more.
  • How to do it?
    • WordPress has a number of mobile plugins. Just install one and switch it on. When someone accesses your site on a mobile device, WordPress sends out a nicely formatted, easy to use version of your site. And you only need to maintain one version of your site.
    • Blogger Websites: Go to Dashboard --> Settings --> Email & Mobile --> Show Mobile Template --> Yes
    • Static website? If you're maintaining your web site with an HTML editor of some sort and don't have any money to hire someone to create a fancy mobile alternative, consider creating a free mobile web site with just your basic information and links back to your full web site. Drawback is that you'll have one more web service that you'll need to keep up to date.
      • Winksite - Mentioned by Libby at your earlier workshop. Easy to use and free. My example site 
      • - set up a free site and copy content from your regular website into pages here. Turn on the mobile option. Make sure you pick a name that's related to your library. eg: (thanks to Tiffini for this idea!) The option for mobile detection is under Appearance --> Extras.
      • Onbile - another free, easy to use option. This one has the added option of adding a bit of code to your regular site that redirects mobile users to the mobile site.
  • More resurces




  • Sign up at
  • Easy to sign up and start uplaoding your videos. (The more complex and time conusming part is actually creating the videos!)



  • Sign up at:
  • Free account:
    • Upload limited to 300 MB per month.
    • And you can only see your last 200 photos & 2 videos.
  • Pro Account - $24.95 year
    • Pretty much unlimited uploads & storage
    • Resizes your images in multiple sizes, handy for use on websites, etc/
  • What can you do with flickr?
    • Share photos with your community
    • Create slideshows to embed on other web sites
    • Conversations through comments


 Other odds & ends that came up in the survey

  • Mass mailing - Try MailChimp
  • Videos - accessible on multiple devices? Can be a challenge is one option that makes your video available in multiple formats and auto-detects what format a user needs based on what device they're using.
  • Reading list tools - GoodReads, LibraryThing
  • PowerPoint to youtube – You could record your ppt show and record your voice at the same time with a with a screencasting tool like screencastomatic (free) or Camtasia (not so free) Or put slides into Microsoft Movie Maker and narrate, outputting a movie. Or upload ppt slides to slideshare and upload separate narration.
  • Creating your own Apps for droid/iphone – let’s not go there today!





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